Thursday, August 03, 2006

alix olson--on the one hand--mac specific programs on the other

I have designated this morning as play around with the computer and try to increase productivity morning. This of course came after watching an episode of work out.

So far I've downloaded: text expander; quicksilver; flock; and net news wire. I think that is all...well, in addition to DevonThink of course. I maybe went a little overboard, setting myself up for frustration in terms of the learning curve, but so far I am quite enamoured TextExpander. It's pretty magical. For example, I get so tired of typing out critical pedaogy and cultural studies over and over in my work. Now I need only type the abbreviation CP or CS and voila out comes critical pedaogy and cultural studies. Flock and NetNewsWire are programs I'm playing around with in order to potentially utilize them in the Fall when I start using blogs in my classes. All of these programs are mac specific, and this all is thanks to my friend Dave over at academHacK (and he has some references to PC equivalents as well).


On the other side of all this computer use and my great enthusiasm for the ways in which it could/can make life easier, is the fact that it also makes me feel a bit ADD, raises my anxiety, and might contribute to depression...? Sometimes I have so many applications running that I forget what I'm doing. Sometimes I surf in haphazard fashion when I should be doing something else entirely. I feel like the fragmented individual that so many have written about. Two mornings ago I went to the library--sans computer--I just read, stayed focused. It felt nice.

Technology offers so many overwhelming possibilities, and I feel the need/want to take advantage of them all--until things like uploading photos to flickr stays on my "to do" list for weeks at a time. Blogging ends up there often as well. Each day it seems I have more little post-its in various places that say "blog this."

---
In other news...

We went to Brattleboro this weekend and saw alix olson. She was wonderful, as always--even funnier than I've seen her before. I think this is because she is really striving to find happiness, joy, laughter amidst the anger and frustration that art and activism can embody. She had this great metaphor about having a duplex inside of us. In one side is that activist--angry, enraged, paying attention, and frustrated. On the other side of the duplex is the happy, nature-lover, who says lets go canoeing, life is great and wonderful. Often the duplexes are in conflict, but we are the landlord--they have to work it out...somehow.

She also defines an activist as anyone who even *thinks* about what is happening the world today. I struggle with this definition, because I don't know that I agree with it, though I'd like to, as I constantly struggle between the academic/activist parts of myself. I feel like academe is a much safer haven than "actual activism," but again, Olson would disagree with this split--maybe I should take that to heart a little bit.

17 comments:

Shari said...

I forgot to mention that Textspander and IClip are on my list with Mellel and Devon as new programs I use regularly and thought were worth the effort of figuring out. (Yay, my first blog comment!)

VTmtngrrl said...

hooray for you--blog commenting and all!!

Yes, eventually I would like some crazy clipboard function. I think that quicksilver has something like that, but I'm not sure it's the same thing. I'll have to ask Dave 'bout that. Quicksilver is tough--will definitely be awhile before it is intuitive.

Dave said...

Yeah, Quicksilver is tough, but if you discipline yourself, set up hotkeys and take the time it is worth the effort. Quicksilver allows you to use the shelf function and thus would not need iClip, but this is a bit difficult, and iClip makes it so easy with a nice display, its use for grading as outlined in acadmehack makes it a keeper for me.

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